21 October 2018
The Influence of Evil Within Us
The human mind is said to be capable of great things, impeccable things. Things we didn’t even think possible. There’s a fine line between the good and evil we do, from the most compassionate gestures to the dirtist of deeds. We are capable to anything we put our minds to. So why does society choose such evil approach of life opposed to the good?
After researching several articles, such as Kate Douglas’s Homo Virtuous?, Robert Simon’s Serial Killers, Evil and Us, and also A case of split personality in puzzling Chicago murders. I have come to the conclusion that the way we are psychologically made up plays the biggest role in determining the good and/or evil we do.
Our brains are chemically wired to interpret things around us, most of which is for our own self benefit. Some of us being more selfish than others. Within the literature we have read, I have determined that personal gain plays a huge role in determining if we carry out with good or evil. For example, in A case of split personality in puzzling Chicago murders, it states “Apparently, he could only find sexual gratification through burglaries. He later found that killing during the burglaries added to the thrill.” (paragraph 5) In this article, he [William Heirens] discovered that robbing set off something inside of him that gave him the equivalence of sexual gratification. When you do something that makes you feel good then you want to keep doing it, such as working out or eating right. As he kept experimenting he found that murdering added to the thrill which had made it even more addicting.
I also found that executing good deeds and expecting something in return isn't just common in humans, but also in animals. While reviewing Kate Douglas’s Homo virtuous? I ran across the quote, “It [reciprocity] can explain the altruistic behaviour of vampire bats, for example: they starve to death after a couple of nights without a blood meal, so sharing with a roost-mate that is likely to return the favour is an obvious strategy to help them pull through tough periods.” (paragraph 9) Though this example is not as relevant as the others it still gives good insight on things we do for personal gain. Bats share things with others in order to gain what they need in rough times just as we do as humans.
As a species, it is near impossible for us to congratulate someone on something they have achieved yet so easy to destruct what they have accomplished. We only care about what we have achieved personally and feel it is essential to gloat in order to make others feel poorly about their accomplishments. When someone has something we don’t, we don’t try to work for it but rather degrade them. In Robert I. Simon’s article Serial Killers, Evil, and Us it states, “‘You have something that I want but do not have. I feel resentfully deficient and angry. I must destroy what you have (or you).’” (paragraph 14) which ties in...